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Top 20 Architecture Programs for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Working on an Architecture project.

Top 20 Architecture Programs for High School Students

Are you a high school student interested in architecture? Are you looking for opportunities to explore your passion and gain valuable experience in the field? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the top 20 architecture programs specifically designed for high school students. These programs provide a unique opportunity for aspiring architects to learn, grow, and develop their skills. Let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of architecture programs for high school students!

Whether you’re eager to immerse yourself in studio projects, learn from esteemed faculty, or explore architectural history and theory, there’s a program tailored to your interests and aspirations. From prestigious universities to specialized institutes, these programs offer hands-on experience, mentorship, and a supportive learning environment to help you embark on your journey toward a future in architecture.

1. Cornell University Pre-College Program in Architecture

  • Location: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

 This program provides high school students with an immersive experience in architecture, offering courses, workshops, and studio sessions. It allows participants to explore various aspects of architecture, including design principles, architectural history, and hands-on projects. Choosing this program provides an opportunity to gain insights into architecture and build foundational skills.construction people inside a building

2. Harvard University Career Discovery Program

  • Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Typically for college students or recent graduates, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

 This program is designed for individuals considering a career in architecture and related fields. It offers a comprehensive curriculum covering various aspects of architecture, urban planning, and design. Participants have the opportunity to learn from Harvard faculty, engage in studio projects, and explore architectural concepts through lectures and workshops. Choosing this program provides exposure to prestigious faculty and resources at Harvard University.

3. Yale University Young Global Scholars Program: Architecture, Sustainability, and Design

  • Location: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

This program explores the intersection of architecture, sustainability, and design. Participants engage in rigorous academic coursework, hands-on projects, and discussions led by Yale faculty and industry professionals. Through this program, students explore into sustainable design principles, architectural history, and contemporary challenges in the field. Choosing this program provides exposure to Yale’s renowned faculty and resources, fostering critical thinking and creativity in architectural practice.University of New Mexico main building

4. Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program

  • Location: Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
  • Registration Fee: The fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

This program comprehensively explores various art and design disciplines, including architecture. Participants engage in studio courses, workshops, and critiques led by RISD faculty and visiting artists. Through hands-on projects and experimentation, students develop their creative skills and expand their understanding of architectural principles. Choosing this program provides exposure to RISD’s renowned faculty and facilities, fostering artistic growth and exploration in architecture and design.

5. University of California, Berkeley Pre-College Scholars: Introduction to Architecture

  • Location: University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.
  • Registration Fee: The fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Dates vary each year; check the program’s website for current information.

This program offers an introduction to architecture fundamentals, allowing students to explore design principles, spatial concepts, and architectural history. Participants engage in studio projects, lectures, and field trips, gaining hands-on experience and insight into the architectural profession. Choosing this program provides an opportunity to learn from UC Berkeley faculty and immerse oneself in the vibrant academic community of one of the top public universities in the United States.

6. University of Southern California Architecture Career Discovery Program

  • Location: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • Registration Fee: The fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: June 16 – June 28, 2024. The application is open on February 1, 2024.

This program offers high school students an immersive experience in architecture and related fields, providing exposure to design principles, digital tools, and architectural history. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and discussions led by USC faculty and industry professionals.

Through this program, students gain insights into the architectural profession and develop foundational skills for further study or careers in architecture. Choosing this program provides access to USC’s renowned faculty and resources in the dynamic city of Los Angeles.

7. Pratt Institute PreCollege Summer Program in Architecture

  • Location: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Dates vary each year; check the program’s website for current information.

Pratt Institute’s PreCollege Summer Program in Architecture offers high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of architecture. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and field trips, gaining hands-on experience in architectural design and theory. Taught by Pratt faculty and practicing architects, this program provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of architecture and prepares students for further study or careers in the field.

8. Syracuse University School of Architecture Summer College Program

Location: Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA.

Registration Fee: Fee varies

Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.

Important Dates: Dates vary each year; check the program’s website for current information.

Syracuse University’s School of Architecture Summer College Program offers high school students a comprehensive introduction to the field of architecture.

Through studio projects, lectures, and workshops, participants explore architectural design principles, digital tools, and sustainability. Led by Syracuse faculty and industry professionals, this program provides a valuable learning experience and prepares students for further study in architecture.

9. University of Virginia Architecture Summer Workshop

  • Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The University of Virginia’s Architecture Summer Workshop offers high school students the opportunity to explore architectural design through hands-on projects and activities. Participants work in studio settings, learning design fundamentals, digital modeling techniques, and architectural history. Led by UVA faculty and practitioners, this program provides a stimulating environment for creative exploration and prepares students for further study or careers in architecture.

Princeton university's iconic architecture
Princeton university’s iconic architecture

10. Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive: Architecture

Location: Cooper Union, New York City, New York, USA.

Registration Fee: Fee varies

Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.

Important Dates: Unspecified

Cooper Union’s Summer Art Intensive in Architecture offers high school students an immersive experience in architectural design. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and lectures, exploring design concepts, drawing techniques, and architectural history. Taught by Cooper Union faculty and visiting professionals, this program provides valuable insights into the architectural profession and fosters creativity and critical thinking skills.

11. California College of the Arts Pre-College Program in Architecture

  • Location: California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The California College of the Arts Pre-College Program in Architecture offers high school students the opportunity to explore architectural design in a vibrant artistic community. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and critiques, learning design fundamentals and developing their creative skills. Taught by CCA faculty and practicing architects, this program provides a stimulating environment for artistic exploration and prepares students for further study in architecture or related fields.

12. Columbia University Introduction to Architecture Program 

  • Location: Columbia University, New York City, New York, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies; check the program’s website for the most current information.
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Dates vary each year

 Columbia University’s Introduction to Architecture Program offers high school students the opportunity to explore architectural design principles and concepts. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and lectures, gaining hands-on experience in architectural drawing, modeling, and digital design tools. Taught by Columbia faculty and practicing architects, this program provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of architecture and prepares students for further study or careers in the discipline.Paper architectural drawings and blueprint

13. Boston Architectural College Summer Academy – Top Architecture Program for High School Students

  • Location: Boston Architectural College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The Boston Architectural College Summer Academy offers high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in architectural design and theory. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and seminars, exploring design concepts, drawing techniques, and digital tools. Taught by BAC faculty and industry professionals, this program provides a stimulating environment for creative exploration and prepares students for further study in architecture or related fields.

14. University of Michigan Architecture and Design Pre-College Program

  • Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The University of Michigan Architecture and Design Pre-College Program offers high school students a comprehensive introduction to architecture, urban planning, and design. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and lectures, exploring design principles, sustainability, and digital fabrication. Taught by University of Michigan faculty and industry professionals, this program provides valuable insights into the architectural profession and prepares students for further study or careers in the field.

15. University of Texas at Austin Summer Discovery Program in Architecture

  • Location: University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The University of Texas at Austin Summer Discovery Program in Architecture offers high school students the opportunity to explore architectural design and urbanism. Participants engage in studio projects, lectures, and field trips, gaining hands-on experience in design thinking, drawing, and model-making. Taught by UT Austin faculty and practicing architects, this program provides a stimulating environment for creative exploration and prepares students for further study or careers in architecture.construction people inside a building

16. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Architecture Career Discovery Program

  • Location: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Architecture Career Discovery Program offers high school students an immersive experience in architecture and design. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and lectures, exploring design fundamentals, digital tools, and architectural history. Taught by RPI faculty and practicing architects, this program provides valuable insights into the architectural profession and prepares students for further study or careers in the field.

17. Illinois Institute of Technology Architecture Summer Program

  • Location: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

 The Illinois Institute of Technology Architecture Summer Program offers high school students an introduction to architectural design and theory. Participants engage in studio projects, workshops, and seminars, exploring design principles, digital tools, and sustainability. Taught by IIT faculty and practicing architects, this program provides a stimulating environment for creative exploration and prepares students for further study or careers in architecture.

18. University of Pennsylvania Architecture Summer Institute

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The University of Pennsylvania Architecture Summer Institute stands as an exceptional opportunity for high school students passionate about architecture to dive deeply into the realms of design and theory. By participating in studio projects, workshops, and thought-provoking lectures, students not only immerse themselves in the practical aspects of architectural creation but also engage in critical discourse surrounding the theoretical underpinnings of the field. Through mentorship and collaboration, students are empowered to push the boundaries of their own creativity and develop a deeper understanding of the architectural discipline.

Furthermore, the Architecture Summer Institute at UPenn serves as a springboard for future academic and professional pursuits in architecture. By offering a comprehensive introduction to the field, it equips students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to excel in further studies or embark on rewarding careers in architecture. With its rich blend of academic rigor, practical experience, and artistic exploration, this program offers a transformative educational experience that inspires and prepares the architects of tomorrow.A high school student studying architecture at a UPenn summer program.

19. Virginia Tech Architecture + Design Summer Academy – Top Architecture Program for High School Students

  • Location: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies; check the program’s website for the most current information.
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

At Virginia Tech’s Architecture + Design Summer Academy, high school students are provided with an immersive journey into architectural design and planning. Through studio projects, workshops, and enriching field trips, participants engange into various aspects of design principles, digital tools, and sustainability.

Led by Virginia Tech faculty and seasoned architects, this program fosters a stimulating environment conducive to creative exploration. Moreover, it equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue further studies or careers in architecture, setting a solid foundation for their future endeavors in the field.

20. University of Washington Introduction to Architecture Summer Program

  • Location: University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • Registration Fee: Fee varies
  • Eligibility: Typically for high school students, specific eligibility criteria may vary; check the program’s website.
  • Important Dates: Unspecified

The University of Washington’s Introduction to Architecture Summer Program provides high school students with a unique chance to enganging into architectural design principles and concepts. Through engaging in studio projects, workshops, and lectures, participants gain invaluable hands-on experience in architectural drawing, modeling, and digital design tools.

Led by experienced UW faculty and practicing architects, this program delivers a comprehensive introduction to the field of architecture, equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary for future studies or careers in the discipline.

Understanding the Top Architecture Programs for High School Students

Before we dive into the specific architecture programs available for high school students, let’s take a moment to understand what these programs entail. Architecture programs for high school students are designed to introduce young individuals to the fundamentals and principles of architecture. These programs offer a variety of learning experiences, such as workshops, lectures, design studios, and hands-on activities. By participating in these programs, students can get a taste of what it’s like to be an architect and gain insight into the field’s technical, artistic, and problem-solving aspects.

Furthermore, architecture programs for high school students aim to nurture creativity, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. They also provide an opportunity to interact with professionals, mentors, and fellow students who share the same passion for architecture. These programs are an invaluable stepping stone for high school students who aspire to pursue a career in architecture.

One key aspect of architecture programs for high school students is the emphasis on sustainable design practices. Students are encouraged to explore eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient building techniques, and innovative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of architectural projects. By incorporating sustainability principles into their designs, students not only learn about the importance of environmental stewardship but also gain a competitive edge in the field of architecture.

Moreover, architecture programs for high school students often include field trips to architectural landmarks, construction sites, and design firms. These excursions provide students with real-world exposure to different architectural styles, construction methods, and professional practices. By immersing themselves in the built environment and engaging with industry experts, students can broaden their understanding of architecture and envision the possibilities within the field.

What to Look For in top Architecture Programs for High School Students

When considering the top 20 architecture programs for high school students, it’s essential to look for programs that offer a comprehensive curriculum covering design principles, digital tools, and sustainability. Hands-on experience through studio projects, workshops, and seminars led by experienced faculty and practicing architects is crucial. Additionally, programs that provide opportunities for creative exploration, mentorship, and exposure to architectural history and theory can greatly enrich the learning experience.

Where to Find top Architecture Programs for High School Students

You can find the top 20 architecture programs for high school students through various channels. Start by researching reputable universities, colleges, and specialized institutes known for their architecture programs. Many institutions offer pre-college or summer programs specifically designed for high school students interested in architecture. Additionally, online resources, educational forums, and guidance counselors can provide valuable insights and recommendations regarding top programs in the field.

Why Attend the Top Architecture Programs for High School Students

Attending one of the top 20 architecture programs for high school students offers numerous benefits. These programs provide a unique opportunity to explore your passion for architecture, gain hands-on experience, and develop essential skills under the guidance of experienced faculty and professionals. Additionally, participating in such programs can help you build a strong portfolio for college applications, gain insights into the field of architecture, and network with peers who share your interests and aspirations.

When to Apply in the top Architecture Programs for High School Students

It’s recommended to apply for one of the top 20 architecture programs for high school students well in advance of the program’s start date. Program application deadlines typically vary, but many programs accept applications several months before the start of the program. To ensure consideration and maximize your chances of acceptance, it’s advisable to check the program’s website for specific application deadlines and requirements and submit your application as early as possible. Early application also allows for ample time to prepare any necessary materials, such as essays, transcripts, or portfolios, required for the application process.View of a student drawing on a table.

Preparing for Top Architecture Programs for High School Students

Now that we understand the importance of architecture programs for high school students, let’s discuss how you can best prepare yourself to make the most of these opportunities.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to have a genuine interest in architecture. If you find yourself captivated by buildings, structures, and design, you are a step ahead! Take the time to explore architectural marvels in your community and beyond. Visit museums, architectural landmarks, and attend local architecture events to immerse yourself in the world of design.

Additionally, developing strong foundational skills in areas such as mathematics, art, and computer drafting can greatly enhance your likelihood of success in architecture programs. Consider taking relevant courses or workshops to strengthen your skills and broaden your knowledge. Remember, good architecture encompasses both artistry and technical precision.

Another crucial aspect of preparing for architecture programs is assembling a strong portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your best work, showcasing your artistic abilities, creativity, and architectural projects. Start building your portfolio by documenting your sketches, designs, and models. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different styles and ideas. A well-curated portfolio can be a powerful tool to demonstrate your potential and passion for architecture.

Moreover, networking within the architecture community can provide valuable insights and opportunities for aspiring architects. Attend architecture-related conferences, workshops, and lectures to connect with professionals in the field. Building relationships with architects, professors, and fellow students can offer mentorship, guidance, and potential collaborations that can enrich your architectural journey.

Furthermore, gaining hands-on experience through internships or volunteering with architectural firms can provide invaluable real-world exposure to the industry. Working alongside experienced architects and designers can offer practical knowledge, skills, and a deeper understanding of the architectural process. These experiences can also help you build a strong professional network and enhance your resume for future academic and career pursuits in architecture.an unidentified interior designers comparing paint swatches

Conclusion

Participating in an architecture program as a high school student can be a transformative experience. It allows you to gain hands-on experience, explore your creativity, and build a solid foundation for your future architectural endeavors.

Throughout this article, we have explored the importance of architecture programs for high school students, discussed how to prepare for these programs, and provided a curated list of the top 20 programs available. Remember, the key to a successful architecture program experience lies in your passion, dedication, and willingness to learn.

So, what are you waiting for? Choose the program that resonates with you, and embark on an exciting journey to explore the world of architecture as a high school student!

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